Blue Cross Blue Shield Severance Payout

The $8.6 Million payout to the ousted Blue Cross CEO ( Cleve Killingsworth) doesn’t give me much confidence in this near-monopoly “Non-Profit” company or its Board of Directors. (Directors are paid  over $50,000 per year each, for one meeting a month). That’s a lot of co-pays at $20 each !    Note that Killingsworth will be paid $1.8 Million more THIS year (he resigned last March and received a total of $8.6 M in 2010 ).  That $1.8 M alone will equal or exceed the total compensation to be paid this year to the current BCBS CEO.

The Friday, March 4th editorial page of The Boston Globe , Letters to the Editor, says it better than I can.  Particularly well stated is the letter from Dr. Martin Solomon, a primary care physician for 35 years, who is “stunned by the arrogance of BCBS and the entire health insurance industry to allow this type of transfer of income from the working class to the wealthy.”

I also recommend the  March 4th Boston Globe column by Brian McGrory “Such healthy pay, it’s sick”.  McGrory is rightly infuriated by the payment of outrageous director fees.  Most directors of “Non-Profits” do not receive any pay. And this Board approved the “excessive for a non-profit” payout —  further described (March 2 Globe story) as “egregious in light of the organization’s performance” by Frank Glassner, chief executive of Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants.  (BCBS lost nearly $215 Million  in 2009 and 2010).

I pay a lot of money in premiums to BCBS, and my employer pays a lot bigger portion of the tab. I’m planning to call the BCBS 800 number and let them know how angry I am.  I don’t know what else I can do, other than tell my employer that this is ridiculous.


Published by Richard Sailor

Belmont Resident, Scientist

4 replies on “Blue Cross Blue Shield Severance Payout”

  1. >>> I don’t know what else I can do, other than tell my employer that this is ridiculous.

    This is one of the unfortunate consequences of bundling health insurance with employment. As a policyholder, you’re quite limited in when you can switch plans unless you also switch your employer.

    Without the ability to “vote with your dollar”, it becomes a frustrating situation.

  2. Agreed. And it is no defense to say that the payouts are small as proportion of total benefits. If the top guy is walking away with millions, there are probably a lot of VPs doing almost as well.

  3. It’s been a few weeks since this was in the headlines… but budget cuts are coming up.
    It really is time for the government to remedy this injustice by making Killingsworth & Co. pay their fair share.

    1. In the short run, Martha Coakley is on it. It’s the AG’s role to regulate Public Charities.

      In the long run, the whole incident has to factor into how we think about health care reform. That’s going to be an issue in the Fall. For now, it’s budget, municipal health care, parole, probation. Not likely to get too far past that before the summer break.

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